Delta posts big losses


April 23, 2008

ATLANTA (AP) -- Delta Air Lines, the nation's third-largest carrier, says its loss widened in the first quarter to a whopping $6.39 billion due to soaring fuel prices and the steep decline in the company's market value.

The results badly missed Wall Street expectations and came despite a 12 percent increase in sales.

The Atlanta-based company said Wednesday the loss is equivalent to $16.15 a share. That compares to a loss of $130 million that Delta reported in the year-ago January-March quarter, when it was still in bankruptcy.

Excluding special items, primarily a $6.1 billion non-cash charge relating to the decline in Delta's market value due to sustained record fuel prices, the airline lost $274 million, or 69 cents a share, in the first quarter.

Analysts were expecting a Delta loss of 49 cents a share, excluding one-time items.

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